Articles | Volume 11, issue 10
Research article
15 Oct 2018
Research article |  | 15 Oct 2018

Empirical high-resolution wind field and gust model in mountainous and hilly terrain based on the dense WegenerNet station networks

Christoph Schlager, Gottfried Kirchengast, and Juergen Fuchsberger

Abstract. A weather diagnostic application for automatic generation of gridded wind fields in near-real-time, recently developed by the authors Schlager et al. (2017), is applied to the WegenerNet Johnsbachtal (JBT) meteorological station network. This station network contains 11 meteorological stations at elevations from about 600 to 2200 m in a mountainous region in the north of Styria, Austria. The application generates, based on meteorological observations with a temporal resolution of 10 min from the WegenerNet JBT, mean wind and wind gust fields at 10 and 50 m height levels with a high spatial resolution of 100 m × 100 m and a temporal resolution of 30 min. These wind field products are automatically stored to the WegenerNet data archives, which also include long-term averaged weather and climate datasets from post-processing. The main purpose of these empirically modeled products is the evaluation of convection-permitting dynamical climate models as well as investigating weather and climate variability on a local scale. The application's performance is evaluated against the observations from meteorological stations for representative weather conditions, for a month including mainly thermally induced wind events (July 2014) and a month with frequently occurring strong wind events (December 2013). The overall statistical agreement, estimated for the vector-mean wind speed, shows a reasonably good modeling performance. Due to the spatially more homogeneous wind speeds and directions for strong wind events in this mountainous region, the results show somewhat better performance for these events. The difference between modeled and observed wind directions depends on the station location, where locations along mountain slopes are particularly challenging. Furthermore, the seasonal statistical agreement was investigated from 5-year climate data of the WegenerNet JBT in comparison to 9-year climate data from the high-density WegenerNet meteorological station network Feldbach Region (FBR) analyzed by Schlager et al. (2017). In general, the 5-year statistical evaluation for the JBT indicates similar performance as the shorter-term evaluations of the two representative months. Because of the denser WegenerNet FBR network, the statistical results show better performance for this station network. The application can now serve as a valuable tool for intercomparison with, and evaluation of, wind fields from high-resolution dynamical climate models in both the WegenerNet FBR and JBT regions.

Short summary
In this work we further developed and evaluated an operational weather diagnostic application, the WegenerNet Wind Product Generator (WPG), and applied it to the WegenerNet Johnsbachtal (JBT), a dense meteorological station network located in a mountainous Alpine region. The WPG automatically generates gridded high-resolution wind fields in near-real time with a temporal resolution of 30 min and a spatial resolution of 100 m x 100 m.